Thousands of people signed a petition to that koala be introduced in New Zealand in order to save this endangered species by forest fires, a request which was however immediately rejected by Wellington.
An association called the Society for the Transfer of Koalas claims that these marsupials, who perished in large numbers due to the fires that ravage the forests Australian, could find asylum in New Zealand, a country with almost 30,000 hectares planted with eucalyptus.
University of Sydney professor Chris Dickman estimated in a statement released last week that one billion animals had died, a figure that includes mammals, birds and reptiles , but not insects or invertebrates. And there is great concern about the survivability of animals still alive due to the destruction of their habitat in the fires.
“Stay in their natural habitat”
As of Monday noon, the petition had collected 7,500 signatures, but a spokesperson for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern explained on a New Zealand public broadcaster that the government’s objective is to help regain control of the lights. so that the koalas “remain in their natural habitat”.
Simon Eyre, one of the scientists at the Wellington Zoo, said that the Australian authorities should be helped to manage the crisis. “From our point of view, we have to help Australia and it is not only koalas, but also other species threatened by fire,” he said. Any introduction of a species into a new habitat can pose serious risks of destabilizing the balance of species already populating it.
Linked to a particularly severe drought in Australia, these fires are further aggravated by global warming, while scientists have long predicted that the recurrence of these extreme weather events will only get worse.